Opa-locka Executive Airport

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Opa-locka Executive Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Miami-Dade County
Operator Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD)
Serves Miami, Florida
Location Dade County, Florida
Elevation AMSL 8 ft / 2 m
Coordinates 25°54′27″N 080°16′42″W / 25.90750°N 80.27833°W / 25.90750; -80.27833Coordinates: 25°54′27″N 080°16′42″W / 25.90750°N 80.27833°W / 25.90750; -80.27833
Website miami-airport.com/...
OPF is located in Florida
Location in Florida
Direction Length Surface
ft m
9L/27R 8,002 2,439 Asphalt
9R/27L 4,309 1,313 Asphalt
12/30 6,800 2,073 Asphalt
Statistics (2010)
Aircraft operations 120,749
Based aircraft 287
Source: Federal Aviation Administration[1]

Opa-locka Executive Airport[1][2][3] (IATA: OPF[4]ICAO: KOPFFAA LID: OPF) (formerly Opa-locka Airport) is in Miami-Dade County, Florida[1] 11 miles north of downtown Miami.[1] Part of the airport is in the city limits of Opa-locka.[5] The National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011–2015 called it a general aviation reliever airport.[6]

The FAA-contract control tower is manned from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM. The airport has four fixed base operators. It is owned by Miami-Dade County and operated by the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.[7]

The military activity is Coast Guard Air Station Miami, operating from federal property not deeded to the county and operating the HC-144 Ocean Sentry[8] turboprops and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters for coastal patrol and air-sea rescue. Much of CGAS Miami's facilities were built during World War II as part of Naval Air Station Miami.

DayJet provided on-demand jet air taxi service to 44 airports in 5 states; it filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation in 2008.

The airport is served by several cargo and charter airlines who use the U. S. customs facility. Maintenance and modification of airliners up to Boeing 747 size are carried out by several aviation firms.


Aviation pioneer Glenn Curtiss retired from aircraft development and manufacturing in the 1920s and became a real estate developer in Florida. In 1926 he founded the City of Opa-locka, naming it Opa-tisha-woka-locka (quickly shortened to Opa-locka), a Native American name that translates into the high land north of the little river with a camping place.

In late 1925 he moved the Florida Aviation Camp from Hialeah to a parcel west of Opa-locka. This small airfield was surrounded by the Opa-locka Golf Course. In 1929, he transferred this land to the City of Miami, and the city erected on it a World War I surplus hangar from Key West. This field became known as the Municipal Blimp Hangar. The following year, the Goodyear Blimp started operations out of this hangar.

In 1928 Curtiss made a separate donation of land two miles south of Opa-locka for Miami's first Municipal Airport. The Curtiss Aviation School later moved from Biscayne Bay to this airport. A larger area to the east of Miami Municipal Airport was developed during the 1930s as All-American Airport. After Curtiss died in 1930, his estate transferred a parcel of land north of the golf course and the Florida Aviation Camp to the city of Miami. The city then leased it to the United States Navy. Curtiss had been lobbying for the establishment of the Naval Reserve Base in Miami since 1928. This property became a Naval Reserve Aviation Training Base (NRATB) (which later became Naval Air Station Miami).

In 1962 the remainder of the former Naval Air Station Miami property, except for a portion reserved for the United States Coast Guard, was transferred to Dade County, and became Opa-locka Airport. In 1965 Coast Guard Air Station Miami transferred its aircraft and operations from its Dinner Key installation to the Opa-locka Airport, re-establishing CGAS Miami on site. CGAS Miami continues to operate on site with HC-144A Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft and MH-65 Dolphin helicopters.

For the year 1963 Opa-locka was the 42nd busiest civil airport in the country by total operations count. In 1964 it was #18, in 1965 #3, and in 1966 and 1967 it was #2 behind O'Hare. In 1971 it was down to #17. In 1979 551,873 operations were recorded; the seventh busiest airport in the nation.

Some of the 9/11 hijackers trained at the airport.[9]


The airport covers 1,880 acres (761 ha) at an elevation of 8 feet (2 m). It has three asphalt runways: 9L/27R is 8,002 by 150 feet (2,439 x 46 m); 9R/27L is 4,309 by 100 feet (1,313 x 30 m); 12/30 is 6,800 by 150 feet (2,073 x 46 m).[1]

Fire protection is provided by Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department Station 25.[10][11]

In the year ending May 18, 2010 the airport had 120,749 operations, average 330 per day: 90% general aviation, 6% military, 3% air taxi, and <1% airline. 287 aircraft were then based at the airport: 42% single-engine, 25% multi-engine, 24% jet, 5% helicopter, and 3% military.[1]


  • On January 21, 1982 Douglas DC-3A N211TA of Tursair, after departing from Opa-locka Airport, was destroyed in an accident at the Opa-locka West Airport (X46). The aircraft was on a training flight and the trainee pilot mishandled the engine controls, causing a temporary loss of power. The aircraft ran off the runway and collided with a tree. Inadequate supervision and the failure of the student pilot to relinquish control of the aircraft to the instructor were cited as contributing to the accident.[13]
  • On May 2, 2011 a Beech E18S (N18R) crashed shortly after takeoff from OPF. The pilot was the only person on board and died in the crash. The NTSB report cited maintenance failures as contributing to the loss of power accident. The aircraft crashed into a home. Besides the death of the pilot, there were no other injuries.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c d e f FAA Airport Master Record for OPF (Form 5010 PDF). Federal Aviation Administration. Effective November 15, 2012.
  2. ^ "Opa-locka Executive Airport". Miami-Dade Aviation Department. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Opa-locka Executive Airport" (PDF). Florida Department of Transportation CFASPP. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ "IATA Airport Code Search (OPF: Opa Locka)". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Opa-locka city, Florida". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved January 9, 2010. 
  6. ^ "2011–2015 NPIAS Report, Appendix A" (PDF, 2.03 MB). National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems. Federal Aviation Administration. October 4, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Opa-locka Airport: Facilities". Miami-Dade Aviation Department. Archived from the original on March 17, 2006. Retrieved April 8, 2006. 
  8. ^ "Air Station Miami welcomes the Ocean Sentry". Coast Guard Compass. U.S. Coast Guard. October 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ Context of 'December 29-31, 2000: Atta and Alshehhi Train on Flight Simulator; Uncertainty over Whether They Gain Skills Needed for 9/11 Attacks'
  10. ^ "Airport Fire Rescue Division". Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. Miami-Dade County. Retrieved August 30, 2006. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Stations". Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department. Miami-Dade County. Retrieved August 30, 2006. [dead link]
  12. ^ "N12978 Hull-loss description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  13. ^ "N211TA Accident Report, ID: MIA82FA037". National Transportation Safety Board. Retrieved August 17, 2013. 
  14. ^ "One Dead After Plane Crashes in Neighborhood Near Opa-locka Airport". Miami New Times. May 2, 2011. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 
  15. ^ "ERA11FA274". NTSB. June 28, 2012. Retrieved August 21, 2012. 

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